Marriage Retreat: Part 2

So, I was cleaning out my purse (which is, I admit, the extent of my spring cleaning motivation), and wouldn't you know it?  I found a piece of paper with my additional notes on it from the marriage conference.  So timely.  A day late.  As usual.  I should have put "Be more organized" and "Stop procrastinating" on the list.  Maybe next time.


It seemed to me that some of this was worth sharing.  Consider this an addendum to yesterday's post.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 3:16-20
I pray that Sam and I may know the reaches of Christ's love in and through our marriage.

Steve and Debbie, the speakers at the conference, started the day off with a metaphor.  When we get married, we have a picture [in our minds] that we hang on the wall, and we expect our relationship to bend to accommodate what we see in that picture.  There is a problem with this.  It comes with a lot of expectations, most of which partners fail to even share with their spouse. 

#1 - Unspoken expectations lead to discouragement. 

When our partner fails to live up to our unvoiced expectations, we start doubting - is this really who I married?  Why aren't they fitting into my picture of marriage?

#2 - Unmet expectations lead to disappointment.

They hinted at the fact that our spouses are not our mother/father.  And you should never tell your wife, "Well, my mom did it this way..."  (Helpful hint out there for you guys.)

#3 - Unrealistic expectations lead to defeat.

When we expect perfection, guess what?  We won't get it.  No matter how great our spouse is.

They assured us that all marriages hit a wall.  Most first marriages hit the wall within four to ten years of that blissful wedding day.  What they said next was even more startling, for subsequent marriages the timeline is shorter.  For second marriages, expect to hit the wall with two to seven years, and for third marriages, it will likely occur in the first twelve months. 

At the wall, they offered three choices -
1.  Forget that divorce is an option.  You're in it for life, so you work through it.
2.  Consider and utilize the option of divorce.
3.  Back up to the path of least resistance and coast.  (Most couples in the church fall into this category.)

If you choose Option 1 - it's a long and hard road, but when you make it through your endurance will have paid off and Christ will have matured you.  The outcome of Option 2 is obvious.  Option 3 results in becoming a bitter old person at the age of between 25 and 40 years old.

Well...I don't want to be a bitter old person!

And that seems like a fitting place to stop today.  Ha!  Hate to leave you in a lurch, but I wanted to put this out there to supplement yesterday's post.  If I get my non-spring cleaning act together this afternoon, I will be back with some Mom Things (or something of the like)...


Sharon Kirby said...

Good, good addendum to yesterday's thoughts.

I'm tucking them into my little (very little) head, and keeping them foremost in my mind. Expectations rarely live up to the hype.

Even in our relationship with God, when we place *our* expectations on Him, we are often left with discouragement, disappointment, and defeat - because He doesn't match *our* picture of Him.

Learning, in both my marriage, and in my faith walk with the Lord, to let go -


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